May 2020: There are stock shortages of Depakote currently. AWP are using the brand syonell instead. There is also a different brand available called Belvo which can also be used. AWP have confirmed that this is a like for like switch and that primary care can switch patients from Depakote to an alternative brand during the shortages. Patients should be advised that the packaging and colour of the tablets are different, but the medicine is exactly the same.
Valproic acid – The semisodium salt (Depakote®) is licensed for the treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
Any of the available forms of valproate may be used off-label as a mood stabiliser.
Valproate must not be used in any woman or girl able to have children unless there is a pregnancy prevention programme (PPP) in place (see MHRA link)
COVID-19 MHRA have issued guidance- see link below.
RED - Hospital only – to be prescribed by a specialist and supplied from secondary care ONLY throughout treatment.
Amber medicines are considered suitable for GP prescribing following specialist initiation or recommendation.
Shared Care - these medicines require specialist initiation and stabilisation. Ongoing division of responsibility for drug and disease monitoring between specialist and GP by a Shared Care Guideline (SCG). If no SCG in place status reverts to red.
These medicines are appropriate for initiation in both primary and secondary care. Prescribing is appropriate within licensed or local recommendations.
Suitable for patient to be directed to buy themselves
Not currently used. We intend to include this TLS in future to highlight where a decision to use this medicine is under review.
Not currently used. We intend to include this TLS in future to highlight where a decision has been made by either or both the local or national NHS not to routinely commission this preparation for its licensed indications. Do not prescribe.
Not currently used. We intend to include this TLS in future to highlight where this medicine and indication is ONLY available through a Specialist Centre according to a NICE Highly Specialised Technology or NHSE Specialised Commission Circular / Policy.